With the fracture of state legislatures between Republican and Democrat lawmakers sweeping the country, the American political system is further deteriorating.
It appears that this fracture is no longer bureaucratic posturing to garner votes and stay in office. Nor is it simple punditry bickering. Rather, it seems this fracture is based on a wholesale ideological divide.
The irreparable split has led to the recently-empowered Republicans attempting to renege on America’s hard-fought rights for workers.
Most notably, Republicans in Wisconsin, including Gov. Scott Walker, are trying to diminish collective bargaining for public workers. If they and Republican lawmakers across the nation succeed, we will be looking at a fundamental crack in the foundation of our country.
The American dream will be dead.
Most worrisome, the Wisconsin bill may not be the most egregious of the anti-worker bills. Ohio Senate Republicans, who are fortunate enough to not need Democrats to form a quorum, passed a bill last week that will ban public sector employees from striking and will place labor disagreements in the hands of elected officials. Similarly, Tennessee is attempting to pass a bill that would abolish collective bargaining for teachers.
A further wrenching of the knife is that Republican-controlled governments refuse to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, preferring instead to make crippling cuts to education, healthcare and other public services that benefit the lower and middle classes at the expense of their rich brethren.
If this trend continues, not only will many working-class Americans be uneducated, sickly and jobless, but also the economy will never fully recover – the main Republican policy point.
The public has already made its feelings known with protests erupting throughout Ohio and Wisconsin, and solidarity movements in other states – including California. Democrats must now do what they were elected to do: Stand up to Republican bullying.
Democrats must quit pretending that bipartisanship can work. It can’t, not with a counterpart that is obstinate and unapproachable.
Bipartisanship may seem like the appropriate, responsible response to Republican chest pounding. In many cases, it is. But in this matter, it is not an act of diplomacy but a sign of weakness.
Why do Republicans get away with campaigning on good ole American values and caring about the people of this country when with each step they make, they hinder the well-being of the middle and lower classes?
Because Democrats back down.
If America is going to live up to the standards demanded by our past experiences, the Democrats are the ones that must get us there. Currently, our local, state and national governments are failing us.
Democrats, take the pulpit and speak out against the appalling policy decisions of your Republican colleagues.
Do what your constituents elected you to do: Fight the Republican cannibalizing of our country.